About 44 refugees from Dzaleka refugee camp and Malawians living in surrounding villages from the Camp in Dowa have graduated in Vocational Training from There is Hope Vocational Training and Income Generating Education school.
The 44, 16 in carpentry, 17 in tailoring and 11 in bricklaying are the third cohort of graduates from the institution since its establishment to empower refugees and people living within close proximity of the camp by providing them with opportunities to in education, business and spiritual well being.
Founder and Director for There is Hope, Innocent Magambi, a refugee himself said he wants people to learn skills and to be self reliant but at the same time doing it together as Africans.
“It is amazing to see the people 44 graduate from an idea, I lived in Congo, Tanzania, in Zambia and was a resident of Dzaleka myself until a church gave me hope and invested in me to going to school and when I was in school I had the vision to tell other refugees there is hope” said Magambi in an interview with Nyasa Times.
Magambi said the organization is providing business loans to those with the zeal and drive to want to be self reliant.
The vocational training place has been administering Brick layering, Tailoring and Carpentry but they have plans to diversify and attract more applicants.
Magambi said they will introduce photography this February as a way of diversifying our courses so that we offer all skills. We will be adding more skills .
He however said they are limited in the administering of classes in power tools to prepare students when they get into cities due to lack of electricity.
He said the organization went through the legal procedure to have electricity at the school in 2015 but nothing has materialized up to now.
The graduates were given tools according to their respective graduating classes as startups when they go back to their communities.
Coordinator for vocational training school Steve Palmbos said the tools are just as a small token of their hard work but emphasized that what the student have gained is much more as knowledge is more important
“The real tools are in you and no one can take them away from you” said Palmbos. He also encouraged the graduates to use what they have learnt in training and apply it.
Rexford Kachepa, Chief Technical Officer in the Minister of Sports and Man Power development said “the graduation of the 44 is complementing the vision of His Excellency President Peter Mutharikas government’s efforts in providing youths who are forming a major part of the Malawi population”.
Kachepa said this means the number of skilled people is increasing thereby leading to reduced poverty as well as more employment for other as some end up to be entrepreneurs.
On accreditation Kidewell Banda from Technical, Entrepreneurial Vocational Education Authority (TEVETA) announced that they have formed a partnership with There is Hope and the next cohort of graduates will be accredited by TEVETA following the harmonization of the accreditation in the country.
One of the 44 graduates, Leah Zilaga, the only female in Carpentry class said it was important to her that she has graduated because she will now be able to fend for her father from plying her trade. She encouraged other refugees as well as Malawians to enroll.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :